Baltimore Ravens 2021 NFL Mock Draft (post-Orlando Brown Jr. trade)
Pick 97: Alim McNeil, DT, NC State:
The 2021 defensive tackle class is not particularly deep, but that doesn’t mean it’s void of talent. NC State’s Alim McNeil is one of the top interior defenders available and is incredibly explosive for his size (6″2″ 320-lbs). He’s nothing shy of a game-wrecker, consistently forcing tailbacks to bounce outside. Even when McNeil isn’t the one making the tackle for a loss, he’s consistently picking up the “assist.”
Brandon Williams is still in the fold for 2021 but will be a free agent after the year, and the lack of depth behind Williams was exposed when Damien Harris ran all over the Baltimore defense in week nine last season. McNeil’s ability to provide interior pressure makes him a more viable three-down option, and the defensive trenches should be in good shape in 2022 and beyond with Roche, McNeil, and Justin Madubuike all in the fold.
Pick 184: Deommodore Lenoir, CB, Oregon:
Apart from a few holes that are expected to be filled by post-draft free agent signings, there simply aren’t that many spots on the roster, meaning the final two picks in this draft will likely be dart throws that could serve as high-end practice squad depth. The first target: Oregon’s Deommodore Lenoir.
The Ravens struggled to find consistent production out of their depth corners last season when Tavon Young was on the shelf, and Jimmy Smith has missed at least four games every year since 2016. Even if Lenoir migrates on and off the practice squad in his rookie season, he’ll provide quality depth behind a pair of talented but injury-prone players, both of whom could be gone in 2022. The Oregon product has great length, excels in press coverage, and has the upside to be a starting cornerback in the NFL.
Pick 207: Brennan Eagles, WR, Texas:
We’ve already given Lamar Jackson two weapons in this draft, but with Rodgers, a relatively modest 5″10″, Sammy Watkins and Miles Boykin are still the only two receivers in a six-man room that measure 6″0″ or above. Height isn’t everything for a receiver, but having primarily receivers in the physical AFC North is a tough proposition, and Watkins’ injury history (and the new 17-game schedule in 2021) means the Ravens will likely have Boykin as the long big target for at least a portion of this coming season. Eagles offers a tremendous catch radius, surprising speed for a 6″4″ 220-lbs. receiver and the natural size to be a better asset in the blocking game than wideouts like Hollywood Brown and Devin Duvernay. He’s a natural mismatch as a big slot option and adjusts on balls in the air well enough to correct for the occasional mistake from Jackson.
Even if Eagles is kept on the practice squad as a Watkins insurance policy, having him in camp will help push Boykin as he enters a key season, and a strong camp from Eagles could even make Boykin expendable.